Tags: whitaker | mueller | trump | russia

Experts: Whitaker Has Other Ways to Slow Mueller Probe

acting attorney general matthew whitaker addresses law enforcement officials at the joint terrorism task force
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker addresses law enforcement officials at the Joint Terrorism Task Force, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in New York. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

By    |   Friday, 23 November 2018 08:11 AM

There are other ways that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker can slow special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of President Donald Trump and Russia besides outright removing the former FBI director from the investigation, according to legal experts.

Federal regulations offer Whitaker a "lot of authority," University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck told The Hill, "starting with his authority to remove Mueller if he finds he has good cause for doing so under the relevant regulation."

Meanwhile, Whitaker also could become involved in other major steps in the investigation, including with new subpoenas and indictments, and if he is still in charge at the Justice Department when the investigation ends, he'll be the one to decide which parts of Mueller's reports are released publicly or submitted to Congress.

“There are both hard and soft powers that the relevant regulation gives to the acting attorney general," said Vladek.

Meanwhile, the president's critics are warning that Trump may be laying groundwork to impede the Mueller investigation, the Hill reports. The DOJ has refused comment on whether Whitaker has taken any steps about the Mueller investigation.

Federal regulations in effect since 1999 state that Mueller is not subject to daily supervision from Whitaker or other DOJ officials, but he is required to notify the acting attorney general of "significant events" in the probe.

“He’s got a lot of latitude to run his investigation,” Randall Eliason, a law professor at George Washington University, said of Mueller. “But the attorney general has ultimate authority, so in theory, he could stop the special counsel from taking certain steps.”

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There are other ways that acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker can slow special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of President Donald Trump and Russia besides outright removing the former FBI director from the investigation, according to legal experts.
whitaker, mueller, trump, russia
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2018-11-23
Friday, 23 November 2018 08:11 AM
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